Top 10 Historic Misconceptions in Mogul Culture

Mogul empire was a state body on the Indian subcontinent and in part of today´s Afghanistan. The empire was ruled by Muslim Chagatai dynasty of Turco-Mongol ethnicity. The Mogul empire spanned across the subcontinent from 1526 and lasted to the half of the 19th century. In its peak, the empire took an area of 4 million square kilometers and it was the second largest empire on the Indian subcontinent. The end of the Mogul empire came when the troops of the British East India Company entered the city of Delhi and emperor Bahadur Shah II escaped to exile in Burma. As with any other country or empire, a lot of misconceptions in Mogul culture is circulating about the era and the historical Mogul cultures are no exception from this point of view. Read on to know the 10 misconceptions in Mogul Culture.

Image Credit: Victoria & Albert Museum

10. Mogul? Mughal? Mongol? What is the right name of the culture?

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The empire is described by many names in the literature and other media. The most common names in the western sources are the Mogul Empire or Mughal Empire. However, you can find also a designation in an old Urdu language: Mughliyah Salṭanat. The people of the empire designated themselves as Gurkani or Gūrkāniyān. However, the most important thing is to avoid major misconceptions in Mogul culture connected to substituting word Mogul with Mongol. The history of Mogul cultures is not the history of Mongols!

9. Mogul culture was an Iranian culture

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Quite common among the misconceptions in Mogul culture is that connected with the area where it existed. A lot of people believe that Mogul culture was, in fact, an empire in Persia, today´s Iran. This mistake probably comes from the fact that one of the names of the empire – Mughal empire – is the same as the name of a small city of Mughal in Iran.

8. Small, unimportant kingdom

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It is mainly the western idea that Mogul empire was rather a small, unimportant kingdom. OK, take this: in its peak, Mogul empire ruled the area of 1.2 million square miles with more than 150 million people which means more than one-quarter of the whole world´s population at a time.

7. Not much remains

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It is the major misconception that there is not much what remains of historical Mogul cultures until our days. It is definitely not the truth. The most famous of all Mogul monuments is famous Taj Mahal of Agra – the jewel of the Indian Muslim architecture. It was built by a Mogul emperor Shah Jahan.

6. Language? Hindi?


Image Credit: Wikipedia

In the west, it is supposed that the main language of Mogul empire was some typical language of Indian subcontinent like Hindi. The truth is that the official language was Persian and the most commonly used language in the spoken form was Urdu. The history of Mogul cultures is full of surprises…

5. Nothing to say about the science


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Do you think that there was no significant scientific research in the Mogul empire? You are wrong! Mogul alchemists were very good in preparation of new cosmetics – soaps and shampoos. Also, the military research was on the quite high level, for example, the development of metal rockets used as a weapon against war elephants (predecessors of modern tanks).

4. Mogul cuisine? Really?


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The term “Indian cuisine” is usually being used in the West without any sense of a large number of local versions of cuisine. We can´t miss out the Mogul cuisine as well. It is derived from the cuisine used during the history of Mogul cultures and it combines cuisines of Central Asia with that of North India. Dishes like Mughlai Paratha or Reshmi Kabab are truly delicious and are still being cooked today.

3. What about the economy?


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The idea of a poor rural society is not precise in the case of the Mogul empire. In fact, the big investments to infrastructure and the existence of unified currency created a prosperous kingdom. The real financial and economic center of the Mogul empire was the Bengal Subah, appreciated also by the European traders.

2. What were the reasons for the decline of the Mogul Empire?

Image Source: Gaatha

For a long time, there were efforts to define one and single reason for the decline of the Empire. In the West, it was pointed out that the economy of Mogul kingdom was in the pretty bad shape in the 18th century, in the East, the influence of European imperial powers was stated to the main cause. Today, historians try to do more serious research leading to a conclusion that the fall of the empire took place because of a combination of several factors including those written above.

1. What was the influence on the region?

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Jointly with the underestimating of the Mogul Empire´s power, its influence is often underestimated as well. It is so wrong! The Mogul Empire allowed and established new trade routes to Arabia and Turkey, it brought groundbreaking architecture and gardening, it created a stable political environment for centuries. The history of Mogul cultures is extremely interesting and it worth to study it!

If you are still in the mood for history, why not to try our Top 10 Embarrassing Military Defeats of History list?

Post Author: SparkInList Staff

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